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NVIDIA CEO downplays Intel discrete GPU plans

Posted on Friday, November 10 2017 @ 10:57:09 CET by

Earlier this week, Intel hired former AMD Radeon Technologies Group head Raja Koduri and revealed plans to make high-end, discrete graphics cards. It's clear the chip giant wants a piece of the pie and that this is a new attack on NVIDIA, which is the market leader in the gaming and AI markets.

On NVIDIA's third-quarter earnings call, Rosenblatt analyst Hans Mosesmann asked a question about this development. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said Raja's departure is a huge loss for AMD and he pointed out that this is recognition from Intel that the GPU is incredibly important now. However, Huang had his doubts about whether Intel has the commitment to develop a world-class GPU. He points out the development of GPUs is a massive undertaking and that a single hire doesn't change much in the grand scheme of things:
Jen-Hsun Huang Yes, thanks, Hans. There's a lot of news out there. I guess some of the things I take away, first of all, Raj leaving AMD is a great loss for AMD. And it's a recognition by Intel probably that the GPU is just incredibly, incredibly important now. And the modern GPU is not a graphics accelerator. The modern GPU, we just left the word G -- the letter G in there. But these processors are domain specific parallel accelerators. And they're enormously complex. They're the most complex processes built by anybody on the planet today. And that's the reason why IBM uses our processors for the world's largest supercomputers, that's the reason why every single cloud, every single -- every major cloud, every major server maker in the world has adopted NVIDIA GPUs. It's just incredibly hard to do. The amount of software engineer that goes on top of it is significant as well.

So if you look at the way we do things, we plan a roadmap about five years out. It takes about three years to build a new generation and we build multiple GPUs at the same time. And on top of that, there's some 5,000 engineers working on system software and numeric libraries and solvers and compilers and graph analytics and cloud platforms and virtualization stacks in order to make this computing architecture useful to all of the people that we serve. And so when you think about it from that perspective, it's just an enormous undertaking. Arguably, the most significant undertaking of any processor in the world today. And that's the reason why we are able to speed up applications by a factor of 100. You don't walk in and have a new widget and a few transistors and all of a sudden, speed up applications by a factor of 100 or 50 or 20. That's just something that's inconceivable unless you do the type of innovation that we do.

And then lastly, with respect to the chip that they built together, I think it goes without saying now that the energy efficiency of Pascal GeForce and the Max-Q design technology and all of the software that we created has really set a new design point for the industry. It is now possible to build a state-of-the-art gaming notebook with the most leading-edge GeForce processors and be able to deliver gaming experiences that are many times greater than a console in 4K and had that be in a laptop that's 18 millimeters thin. The combination of Pascal at Max-Q has really raised the bar. And I think that that's really the essence of it.



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